Custer Observatory Steinway Fund

Welcome to our fundraising site. Here is where you can select a key or case part to purchase and help us reach our goal of buying a Steinway Model A piano. Steinway makes the world’s finest piano, and we are excited to bring our community memorable musical experiences with the help of generous donors. Thanks for your help!

About Us

The Custer Institute was founded in 1927 as a local astronomy group by Charles Elmer of the Perkin Elmer Corporation. The group built the Custer Observatory which has become a local historic community resource.

Custer Observatory, the largest and oldest public observatory on Long Island, has unique facilities including a new high-tech Zerochromat telescope, the largest of its kind in the US. Radio Observatory, museum, optical shop, lecture hall, library and cozy meeting room are some of the other features of the facility.

Custer is open year round to the public every Saturday night for observing the night sky through its many telescopes. Custer also offers public programs on many Saturday evenings prior to observing. Programs include concerts, lectures, art exhibits, classes, special events and more.

Our Goal

Our goal is to raise $80,000 for a Steinway Model A.

The Music Project at Custer Observatory is an arts and humanities program within the organization trusted with nurturing and embracing community diversity and uniqueness, with a special focus on musical and performing arts. Through a series of concerts and performances the Music Project provides a threefold educational purpose: 1) to provide firsthand experience of music, songs and dances of other cultures, 2) to explore the inextricable connection between music and science and 3) to offer a glimpse at the stars through the many telescopes on site with assistance from expert staff. The Music Project allows the entire community to join in the educational experience where culture, music and science meet.

We are seeking to add a high quality concert piano to the facility in order to expand the performances that the Music Project can offer to the public. Steinway pianos are known for their high standard of quality and are considered the world’s finest pianos by many concert artists. These fundraising efforts will help our facility to have one of the best available instruments for the community. Our goal is to raise the funding for the Steinway by the end of the 2018 year so that it will be available for the 2019 concert season.

Donate a Key

The Piano

Steinway & Sons Model A – Salon Grand Piano

At 6′ 2″ the Model A is known for delivering a “grand” sound in a medium-scale instrument. It offers power and warmth with a design that allows the solid spruce soundboard to freely and efficiently resonate, like its larger counterparts.

“Owing to its perfection, the Steinway gives the pianist, wherever he plays, absolute security.”
– Pierre-Laurent Aimard (Steinway Artist)


We Need Your Help!

Please consider donating a key.

Donate a Key

How It Works

It only takes 3 easy steps to donate a key.


  • 1

    Select the key(s) you wish to donate on the Steinway model

  • 2

    Fill out the secure donation form with your donor & billing info

  • 3

    Your donation will be sent directly to the organization's administration. Thank you!

Donate a Key

Custer Observatory Steinway Fund